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Colfax woman found guilty of maintaining a drug house and selling meth

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  A 53-year-old Colfax woman arrested during a drug raid in March at 408 Cedar Street has been found guilty of felony counts of maintaining a drug trafficking place and selling methamphetamine.

Karen A. Herrera pleaded no contest in Dunn County Circuit Court May 22 and was found guilty by Judge James M. Peterson.

Herrera also was charged with one felony count of bail jumping and two misdemeanor counts of obstructing an officer and possessing drug paraphernalia. Those charges were dismissed but read into the record for sentencing.

Herrera was arrested in Colfax March 25 during a drug raid conducted by the West Central Drug Task Force.

In a separate case related to a domestic disturbance earlier in March, charges of felony bail jumping and misdemeanor disorderly conduct also were dismissed at the May 22 hearing but were read in to the record for sentencing.

In yet a third drug-related case from 2013, a deferred prosecution agreement for Herrera was revoked on April 30 by Judge Rod Smeltzer.

In the 2013 case, Herrera was charged with two felony counts of maintaining a drug trafficking place and possession of methamphetamine and three misdemeanor counts of possessing drug paraphernalia, possessing an illegally-obtained prescription and possessing marijuana.

During the April 30 court hearing, Judge Smeltzer revoked the deferred prosecution agreement for the felony count of possessing methamphetamine, accepted Herrera’s plea of no contest and found her guilty.

Herrera was sentenced to two years of probation on the 2013 case, and as a condition of probation, was sentenced to 120 days in the Dunn County jail.

Judge Smeltzer also ordered an Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) assessment.

In the 2013 case, one felony count of maintaining a drug trafficking place was dismissed, along with two misdemeanor counts of possessing drug paraphernalia and possessing an illegally-obtained prescription.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled in Dunn County Circuit Court July 17 for the most recent charges on which Herrera was found guilty.

During a preliminary hearing April 1, Dan Westlund, an investigator with the West Central Drug Task Force out of the Menomonie Police Department, testified that on March 24, the day before the drug raid, a confidential informant had conducted a controlled buy of meth from Herrera at her 408 Cedar Street residence in Colfax.

The informant was given marked money with which to make the purchase, Westlund testified, noting that the informant was wearing a video and audio recording device when he went into the Cedar Street house to purchase methamphetamine.

The following day, March 25, a search warrant was executed at 408 Cedar Street. Herrera was present at the house and was arrested.

During a search of the Cedar Street house, the marked money was found in Herrera’s wallet, along with her driver’s license, Westlund said.

A one-day jury trial had previously been scheduled for Karen Herrera in Dunn County Circuit Court June 1 on the charges associated with the March drug raid.